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Harun Yahya Exposed

The Balkanist has an article about Harun Yahya (real name: Adnan Oktar), a fabulously rich and absolutely bizarre Muslim creationist from Turkey. He’s been pumping out young earth creationist bullshit for decades, all while putting on a TV show like this one:

Harun Yahya is said to be the messianic leader of an apocalyptic Islamic sex cult. He’s also the owner of a Turkish television station called A9, and the host of his own religious talk show, which just might make your eyeballs pop out of your skull. The entire set and everyone on it glow like irradiated ultraviolet rays. Five amazing looking women usually co-host the show, wearing things like false rainbow eyelashes, wigs, and diamond-studded Versace bondage gear. The backdrop is a blinding fake lavender cityscape. Conversations often focus on how materialism and Darwinism are dead, how to recognize the face of a real Muslim, and how Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — with whom the host is rumored to enjoy friendly relations — is “one of the important figures for the End Times”.

The show really has to be seen to be believed. Here’s a clip:

Like most creationists, Oktar and his followers believe Darwinism is evil. And like many American evangelicals, they are skilled in the art of televangelism and the mass marketing of religious materials. The sect has produced more than 300 books to date, including the 800-page pinnacle of anti-evolutionary scholarship, the Atlas of Creation. A promotional video for the masterwork alleges that the book’s release had “the impact of an atom bomb”: According to a “scientific” study, before the atlas was published, a full “90 percent of Europeans believed in evolution”. Since the Atlas of Creation has been made available in nine different languages, “only 10 percent of Europeans still believe in Darwinism”. Real facts. Watch the entire promo video below.

That’s almost touching in its self-delusion.

The group’s theology has been described as a “sexed-up Disney version of Islam” by anthropologist Daniel Martin Varisco, and the show can even get a little homoerotic. A pair of hunky twins named Onder and Ender make the occasional appearance, usually wearing matching muscle t-shirts and excessive bronzer. The camera ogles the two decorative sphinxes while Oktar praises them for their muscular beauty. The women — referred to as Oktar’s “kittens” or “harem” — pose for promo photos together in overtly sexual positions, often coupled with slogans like “I read the Qu’ran” printed across the pictures like postcards.

Yeah, this is some seriously weird shit.

Comments

  1. blf says

    “only 10 percent of Europeans still believe in Darwinism”

    That’s weapons grade delusion. Excepting Turkey, which is notoriously even more deluded than USAlienstani, the “belief” in evolution regularly and easily exceeds 50%, and is often much higher (c.80% in much of Scandinavia, as I recall).

  2. ebotebo says

    I was only able to get slightly more than a minute into the video when I started to feel my cells a poppin’! This is really some of the silliest, most moronic bullshit I’ve ever witnessed, and I couldn’t even watch it!!

  3. quidam says

    “amazing looking women” is right. “astonishing’ or ‘incredible ‘ would be other good adjectives. Artificial is also true. Austin Powers FemBots were what immediately sprung to my mind, but then I watched them again and realized that they look much more human.

    Then it clicked. They’re as life-like as Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, but without her strength of character.

  4. Olav says

    Minor detail: I am not sure Oktar is exactly a young earth creationist. I believe I read somewhere he does accept the age of the Earth as billions of years. His position is more like (but not exactly the same as) “Intelligent Design”. Not that it matters much, everything else he says is indeed quite bizarre. And of course he is quite rich and powerful too. Unfortunately, he is actually a force to be reckoned with in Turkey.

  5. scienceavenger says

    That’s the single creepiest thing I’ve ever witnessed. Someone should punk a network producer and submit something like that as a pilot for a new talk show just to see his reaction.

  6. Die Anyway says

    So much blonde. Their bleach budget would probably keep me in the lifestyle to which I’d like to become accustomed.

    I wonder if there is some restriction about standing up to music… They stay seated and only move their arms to the music.. Also, I watched several clips and Oktar seems to do all of the talking. The ladies pretty much just nod in agreement. I kind of wish I knew what he was saying, but maybe I’m better off not knowing.

  7. Sastra says

    Some day there will be a shocking behind-the-scenes expose written by one of the “kittens.” They all seem to be thinking about it now, as they smile, clap, and nod politely. There are real human beings under all that makeup and in my opinion Haryun Yahya better watch out.

  8. says

    Conversations often focus on how materialism and Darwinism are dead…

    Yes, materialism is dead. Replaced with big-titted bleach-blondes wearing gaudy jewelry and designer clothing. Madonna would approve.

  9. freehand says

    The Atlas of Creation was largely made up of copyrighted material, used without permission. Here’s my favorite:
    http://www.grahamowengallery.com/fishing/Atlas_of_Creation.html
    .
    From the link: Several photos of my insect replicas were published in the Atlas of Creation, without my knowledge, and presented as purportedly real living creatures, to be compared with fossilized specimens, to disprove the theory of evolution.
    .
    I’m sure the publisher was perplexed upon realizing some of the bugs in the lavish hard bound book are instead realistic fishing lures.

  10. says

    I suspect this joker knows very well his books have had virtually no effect on Europeans. But his followers certainly don’t, and aren’t likely to check to see if the claim is true.

  11. felidae says

    I guess the Quranic injunction for women to dress modestly is interpreted by Oktar to include tight tee shirts over big boob jobs, tons of makeup, and bleached blond hair–if only he could persuade the fundies of the Muslim world of its correctness things would be a lot better in the world

  12. says

    ED, WTF?

    I have more than enough shit on my plate already. Now you want me to deal with extra-territorial bunin’ Stoopit

    Well, there is a + side, I guess. At least with this guy speaking in his native language I won’t have to worry about the fact that he’s not making any fucking sense.

  13. Nomad says

    First off, am I the only one that was kinda digging that music? The vocal style wasn’t to my taste, but the guitar (or whatever that was) was kinda catchy.

    Secondly, if we’re calling people out on bullshit, the description of the show has GOT to be called out.

    Versache bondage gear? The fuck? In what universe is a designer shirt classified as bondage gear? I know what bondage gear is, I bowl with people that regularly wear it (don’t ask).

    The “entire set” glows? Bullshit. The background is purplish tinted and that’s it. I was actually looking forward to a psychedelic fluorescent set, and all I got is purple cityscape. The fact that the A9 logo is repeated again and again in the cityscape is kinda tacky, but… I did not get what the description promised.

    I’m not saying the guy isn’t a loon, the stunt with using pictures of fishing lures in his Atlas of Creation in particular secured his place in nutbar history, but can we call him out without stringing together this many exaggerations in a row?

    I do find it entertaining that a show that proclaims that materialism is dead features women seemingly exclusively clothed in Western designer brands.

  14. kraut says

    Is it only me or doesn’t that look like some pimp in a motivational meeting, with his hookers covered in slightly over the top makeup?

  15. Nomad says

    Yes, I think you’re the only one that thinks that the makeup is only slightly over the top.

  16. Reginald Selkirk says

    I own a copy of the Atlas of Creation. Amazing production values. The trout fly lure on page 244 is classic.

  17. says

    Now I know where I’ve seen that guy, b4.

    He was going to be on this album cover:

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=sheikh+jerbouti+album+cover&id=14DED3F6039CCA45DA54F47BA71D0F95B3A475A2&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=9C0EA18C376043991A8ABD5740BAC90C4D523463&selectedIndex=2

    but at the last minute, Frank Zappa looked in the mirror and “..the fuck? Why am I hiring some poseur when I look more like the real thing?!”.

    Frank felt bad about having him and his entrourage come all that way for nothing, so he hired the girls to sing backup on a studio overdub of “Broken Hearts are for Assholes”, which was originally recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, UK. True story.

    * They were already in town to do the video of “Addicted to Love” with Robert Palmer (that was before they bleached their hair, the rest of the “look” is pretty much the same). Ultimately the video couldn’t be used (licensing problems) and they decided to use the Moron Abershnacle Thoir** as the back-ups on the overdub.

    ** Tommy Smothers, thank you, wherever you are and apologies for prolly not getting it exactly right–it’s been about 45 fucking years since you said it.

  18. Reginald Selkirk says

    The group of the most faithful 30 followers live with Oktar in luxurious compound in Istanbul, where he has personally selected each item in the house, down to the $1200 Fendi throw pillows embedded with 2,000 Swarovski crystals.

    That sounds rather uncomfortable.

  19. says

    Didn’t Harun Yahya also have a minor role in “Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension”? I seem to amember that but it might just be an acid flashback.

  20. Reginald Selkirk says

    Sastra #10: Some day there will be a shocking behind-the-scenes expose written by one of the “kittens.”…

    Past history.

    Ebru Simsek, a model and defector, also accused Oktar of mistreatment. He responded by filing no less than 300 defamation lawsuits against her. It was just the beginning of his misuse of the Turkish court system to settle his personal disputes.

  21. says

    @24:

    “He responded by filing no less than 300 defamation lawsuits against her. It was just the beginning of his misuse of the Turkish court system to settle his personal disputes.”

    So, in addition to being a sciencejeenyus he’s a Turkish JOB CREATOR!

  22. caseloweraz says

    A fabulously rich Muslim who owns a television studio puts on shows to talk about how materialism is dead.

    Great.

    And let’s see… Talking woo, presenting beautiful babes who are there purely for decoration (or to distract from the host’s juggling invisible bowling pins for the first four minutes), skilled at mass marketing…

    Except for the religious angle, this fellow reminds me of Kevin Trudeau.

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